Monday, 24 June 2013

Two Musketeers

Banggggg …! I was shuddering to hear a deafening sound and saw the antique clock, a precious link to a glorious lineage, lying in state, shattered in bits and pieces. The two musketeers nonchalantly examined its broken needles. They were at it again … at their chivalry act after twelve long months.

Over beaten and virtually turned upside down, my house now looked like a site after a bomb blast. Freshly painted walls were disfigured overnight. The two little terrorists, making the walls their easels, drew on them a riot of portraits, doodles, cartoons and caricatures—all with pieces of charcoal.

It was Ganesh [my brother’s son] who would always start sowing wild oats. His caricature of Deena [my sister’s daughter]—with a big, swelled head, pigtails and flat nose—would provoke the little Joan of Arc to retaliate with all her feminine power. Ganesh would thus be shown standing in a puddle with a footnote telling us that he used to wet his bed at night and get slapped by his mother.

Let the walls wail in silence for their lost gleam. But, no good was the drawing room, which, to my horror, resembled like a vessel shop having had a herd of elephants for visitors. Contraption at home were either dismantled or displaced. Thus the DVD player took refuge in the kitchen and the Wet Grinder had a new home in the hall.

The book rack looked bare. The kids had since shifted the books in the drawing room and littered them on the floor. Lying down on the heaps of books, Deena would be reading ‘The Oxford Thesaurus’. Not to get beaten by her, Ganesh would immerse himself in the holy ‘Mahabharata’. On his nose was my pince-nez.

Sometimes, there broke out a fierce battle between the kids over trifle matters like, who would watch Pogo on the TV or who would play games in my lappy. What started as a war of words would end in violence; the two would be found either exchanging blows or throwing missiles at each other—missiles like, combs, hair brushes, spoons-- and they would always miss their target and hit either Kala, my wife, or me. At times Kala would broker peace between the two warriors but to no avail.

Gosh! We were in the midst of the summer riots again gleefully sparked off by the kids the moment they came down to our house from their country homes to spend their summer vacation. They were so enterprising and industrious that their no-holds-barred antics always put us on tender hooks for a month or two.

It was on a summer evening, I went berserk. It was now my turn to ransack the house and make it a virtual hell. I had misplaced the fine print of the ‘Blah Blah’, one of my writes, and that made me disoriented. I had to send it to a Weekly magazine and the deadline was fast approaching. The tyrants, as was their wont, had deleted this piece from my Desktop.

Moved by my predicament, Kala too joined my ‘operation-search-blah-blah’. We rummaged through the house not leaving the wardrobe and laundry, but drew blank. Missing out the ‘Blah Blah’ became mystery and I was upset over its sudden disappearance.

A new ‘Blah Blah’ came to life with unbearable birth pangs. I sat through the whole of the night and reconstructed it in the morning. It looked pedestrian; lacked in its original josh. I was then distracted by the tumultuous thunder claps and boisterous laughter coming out of the drawing room. I raced over there, Kala in tow.

I saw half-a-dozen neighborhood children sitting on the floor and clamoring for attention. Deena was standing beside a table stacked with some of my books. She draped herself in a shawl, brandishing a wooden scale at the children to keep them quiet.

‘Deena, why, what the hell is going on here?’ I flared.

‘Easwar, I’m not Deena, but your class Miss. Come and sit here. I’m distributing all your exam papers.’ She shot back, eyes serious, voice commanding.

‘Kala’, Deena turned her head to my wife.

‘Yes, Miss’, Kala spoke respectfully; her hands were submissively folded across her chest.

‘Kala’ Deena now smiled and spoke softly. ‘This is your exam paper. Well done. You got 98 out of 100.’

OMG! That’s my grocery list’, Kala screamed. ‘Been searching for it for days on end.’

‘Shush’, Deena put her finger on her lips. Kala became quiet. She was happy since she got back her grocery list.

Deena stopped me when I tried to move out of the classroom. She told me to get my paper and then go out. I stopped abruptly, smiled sheepishly at her. She then flipped through the pages of a heavy bound dictionary and took out a set of papers.

‘Good heavens.’  I screamed as Kala did a few minutes back. ‘Look. Kala, that’s my ‘Blah Blah’. My eyes gleamed as if I accidentally stumbled upon a long lost treasure trove.

‘Easwar,’ Deena snarled. ‘Your ‘Blah Blah’ is all rubbish; full of grammar mistakes. I’m sorry. You failed in English. You got only 30 out of 100.’ Kala laughed aloud seeing my discomfiture. The whole class looked at me contemptuously. I saw my write was hit with green pencil and disfigured beyond recognition.

The summer had gone and the kids too. My house now falls back to its usual, intriguing silence and somnolence. Though every room remains clean and clutter free, I find sort emptiness and void surrounds them. Kala and I are now waiting for another summer … longing to have the kids in our midst. For, we know only where children gather is there a real chance of fun.



  1. Thanks for your visit and comments. Have nice time.

  2. Really kids in a home make it a better place to live in..The Home becomes lively with there cheer,fights,shout and everything...

  3. So, the two little terrorists will return back only after a year almost.
    It is true that the kids make the place a lively one .my best wishes to Deena and Ganesh and ofcourse for you and your wife. The wait will not be long......

  4. Gosh this sweet tale brings back vivid memories of the summers my sister and I would spend at our uncle's place!
    20 years later, I dread kids marching around my home unwatched, and your post reminds me of my hypocrisy!

  5. Wow ... sommething so familiar in what you've written! Wonderful !

  6. Nicely crafted post... enjoyed reading..

  7. This is so beautiful, Sir, I loved the way you described the transition from full house to the empty house syndrome.

  8. children and their mischief.. beautifully written.

  9. Lovely matter how much v crib abt these little monsters, they bring life into our otherwise boring schedules...and loved reading abt blah blah as similar stuff has hapenned to me courtesy my sister's kids.

  10. Reminded me of the good old day ... thanks for refreshing those memories ..

  11. Sir,this made me smile .. with your poor performance in english.. actually giggle :D and then made me sad as know .. a full circle of 365 days has to be covered to get fun back to your house :)
    and I am sure your Blah ! Blah ! must have fetched you praises!
    Its my good luck that I know you and get to read you,Sir !
    Thanks for sharing life as it comes to you , always :)

  12. First of all I would like to read your Blah Blah. You are wrong. In English I topped the list not you and was standing outside the class with bricks on my hands. Don't tell Dina for the Next time I have a good brainwave to cheat and pass the exam of english-Vinglish.

  13. One cannot write such a post unless one is full of love and tenderness to respond to the delicate weirdness of the children. The style of writing is very engaging with a gentle touch of passivity blending perfectly with the boisterousness and the antics of the children. While reading the post, I felt as if I was in their midst. I look forward to another summer for another brilliant post.

  14. This was such a fun post! Well narrated!

  15. How touching! I can feel the yearning for kids in those lines. These memories are like treasure chests!

  16. A very nice read. Reminded me of my childhood days when my brothers and I will tear up the place at my Grandpa's.

  17. Engaging....good read, Easwar.

  18. 'we know only where children gather is there a real chance of fun'

    குழந்தைக்கு(முகத்தில் பல இடங்களில்)முத்தம் கொடுத்துப் பாருங்கள்.
    ஒரு கிராமவாசி நபி (ஸல்) அவர்களிடம் வந்து நீங்கள் சிறு குழந்தைகளை முத்தம் இடுகிறீர்களா? நாங்களெல்லாம் அவர்களை முத்தம் இடுவது இல்லை என்று கூறினார். அப்போது நபி (ஸல்) அவர்கள், அல்லாஹ் உமது உள்ளத்தில் இருந்து அன்பை கழற்றி விட்ட பின் உமக்காக நான் என்ன செய்ய முடியும்? என்று கேட்டார்கள்.மேற்கண்ட நபிமொழி குழந்தைகளை, சிறுவர்களை முத்தமிட வேண்டும் என்றும், முத்தம் இடுவது அன்பின் வெளிப்பாடு என்றும், முத்தம் இடாதவன் உள்ளத்தில் அன்பு இல்லை என்றும் தெளிவாகிறது..

  19. revisiting my childhood .. nice narrated :)

  20. A lot has been said in your Blah Blah! It reminds the childhood, the joy of parents and the loneliness felt in the absence of children. Good write Sirjee!

  21. those fights such noise also happens in my house when my sister's kids came during summer break,and you are right they took away with them fun and enjoyment.

  22. :D so true!
    Me and my sibling along with our cousins...we used to be an army of Apes in true sense...and the house, it usually always looked like a site facing frequent terrorist attacks.
    Loved reading it! Plus the kids are real creative!! :D:)

  23. kids really bring life to our home :) The grandparents always wait for their grandkids to come home during vacation. That two months spent with the kids is the most treasured period of the year for them.

  24. Loved it! And I can related. We were once Deena and Ganesh!

  25. Simple loved it. I agree kids make our life simple and make us sociable. I get a lot of inspiration from kids, the way they fight, they way they try to know something, and the way to make things simple. Thanks for sharing this post.